The challenge with zucchini at this time of year, I find, is how to wrangle overgrown clubs of squash into something that you actually want to eat. With all due respect to the lovely Mollie Katzen (to whom much respect is due), this is not the season for stuffed “Zuccanoes.”My answer to the annual giant zucchini quandary usually involves my food processor. Grating zucchini is therapeutic, first off; literally cutting the squash down to size shows it who’s boss and lets it see that you are not intimidated. And once you have tired of grilled and raw and steamed and sauteed zucchini, grating it lets you incorporate it less-conspicuously into other things. Like these fritters.
These emerald little bites are basically just zucchini, held together with flour and eggs, spiced up with my usual favorite combination of herbs and feta. They’re more pancake-y than crispy, which is nice because you don’t have to rush to serve them; in fact, they’re good at room temperature. You could serve them as an appetizer or side dish, I imagine, but we usually make a meal of them. And I assume it goes without saying that you should have the leftovers for breakfast with a poached egg on top.
Zucchini Fritters (adapted from Nigella Lawson): Grate a pound and a half of zucchini (about 4 medium) into a large bowl. Use a lint-free towel to dry the zucchini a bit. Add all of the following: half a chopped onion (or a handful of chopped green onions), half a pound of crumbled feta cheese, a small bunch each of finely-chopped parsley and mint, 1 Tbsp. dried mint, 1 tsp. paprika, 1 c. flour, 3 beaten eggs, and a few generous pinches of each salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients until well combined. Lightly oil a well-seasoned skillet or griddle and warm it to a moderate temperature. Scoop batter onto skillet and spread into circles about 1/2″ thick or a little thinner. Bake until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Serve with plenty of lime wedges (our usual) or that amazing cilantro yogurt sauce.
p.s. My very best trick when I’m enjoying dire zucchini overload is to grate and freeze the zucs in 2-cup portions to use in zucchini bread all winter long (just defrost it and add it to the batter, liquid and all). What’s your best zucchini-management tip?